WhatsApp goes down, days after Facebook purchase

Published: 4:05 AM, February 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — WhatsApp, the rapidly-expanding mobile messaging app, suffered an outage for more than three hours over the weekend, frustrating users only days after its acquisition by Facebook for US$19 billion (S$24 billion).

“WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime,” WhatsApp tweeted to its more than one million Twitter followers early yesterday morning Singapore time.

Before that, the service had said it was experiencing server issues, without providing further details. Facebook referred questions on the outage to WhatsApp representatives, who did not immediately respond.

Five-year-old WhatsApp has about 450 million users globally and has been adding a million users daily. It is the leader among a wave of smartphone-based messaging apps that are now sweeping across North America, Asia and Europe, and is known to appeal to teens and others, who avoid mainstream social networks.

During the outage, the buzz on Twitter ranged from the conspiratorial — that Facebook had really bought WhatsApp to shut it down and funnel users to Facebook Chat — to the philosophical. “So now that #Whatsapp isn’t working I’ve actually talked to my family, they seem like nice people,” tweeted @Ali_Hilu, a self-described social media addict in Jordan. REUTERS